The 20 Most Ridiculous Mouth Wads in Baseball History

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2011

The 20 Most Ridiculous Mouth Wads in Baseball History

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    Historically, baseball players are not regarded as the cleanest players, and you cannot go an inning with out seeing someone spitting out a glob of brown tobacco juice.

    Throughout the league, each team has at least a handful of players who use chewing tobacco, as it is fairly commonplace in the MLB, and while it has led to some questions of whether players are setting a bad example for young kids, it remains part of the game.

    For some players, they take their chewing to another level, hamming an absurd amount into their mouth and making them look ridiculous. Be it tobacco, gum, sunflower seeds, or even licorice in one case, here are the 20 most ridiculous mouth wads in baseball history.

Duane Walker

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    Walker enjoyed a brief career in the majors, playing five seasons for the Reds, Rangers, and Cardinals. He was never a full-time player, but he enjoyed a solid season in 1984 with a .292 BA, 10 HR, 28 RBI season in just 195 at bats.

    While his big-league career was short, he made his mark most notably with his 1986 Topps baseball card picture in what is certainly one of the biggest tobacco wads captured on a baseball card.

Brian Doyle

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    Doyle had as forgettable a career as you will find, playing four seasons for the Yankees and Athletics for a total of 110 games. He finished with a career line of .161 BA, 1 HR, 13 RBI, never hitting over .200 in any season.

    However, he earns a place on this list for his 1981 Fleer baseball card that is one of the most prolific incidences of a player with a mouth full of tobacco on any baseball card out there.

Larry Milbourne

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    Milbourne was never a household name, but he enjoyed a fine career as a utility infielder, playing 11 seasons for the Mariners and Astros before bouncing around to four other teams in the final three seasons of his career.

    Much like Walker, he earned his spot on this list with his baseball cards, and while his tobacco wad is visible on a number of his cards, it is never more obvious than on his 1980 Topps version which caught him with a chipmunk-like protrusion in his left cheek.

Rocky Bridges

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    Much like Milbourne, a quick search of Rocky Bridges will show that he never set foot on the field without a big wad of tobacco in his cheek, sometimes to the level that you had to wonder how he managed to keep it all in his mouth.

    On another note, it looks as though the Tigers' mascot on the baseball card here also has a couple cheeks full of tobacco, or else some severely swollen glands.

Chris Duncan

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    Duncan made a splash when he first joined the Cardinals in 2006, posting a line of .293, 22 HR, 43 RBI over just 280 at bats.

    However, the next season he hit just .259 BA, 21 HR, 70 RBI over 375 at bats and he has been little more than a fourth outfielder since then.

    He did, however, manage to earn an endorsement from Skoal during his Cardinals days and interestingly enough they chose to use the picture of him violating the World Series trophy as part of their campaign.

Nick Swisher

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    Swisher is one of the most colorful characters in all of baseball, and he gave the Yankees a huge boost last season in the wake of a number of injuries.

    He finished with a line of .288 BA, 29 HR, 89 RBI in what was the best season of his career, making the first All-Star appearance of his career.

    He is also a notorious user of chewing tobacco, and he has come under some scrutiny for his tobacco use, thanks in part to the fact that he is playing in such a large market and is someone that many young fans look up to.

Alan Embree

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    Embree enjoyed a stellar 16-year career as a reliever, appearing in 882 games which is 28th all-time, as he is among the top lefty specialists the game has seen.

    He is also among the most notorious tobacco chewers, as picture after picture shows that he never made an appearance without his trademark cheek full of dip.

George Brett

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    Brett is in the discussion as the best third baseman in the history of the game, as he put together a fantastic line of .305 BA, 317 HR, 1,596 RBI during his 21-year career.

    He was also a notorious dipper, and that was captured on his 1978 Topps baseball card, as he was photographed with a huge wad in his left cheek.

Johnny Mize

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    Mize enjoyed a fantastic career with the Cardinals, Giants, and Yankees while posting a career line of .312 BA, 359 HR, 1,337 RBI in 15 seasons, and those numbers would have been even better had he not missed three seasons during his prime while serving our country.

    His status as one of the game's top sluggers landed him an endorsement, and he was the face of Red Man chewing tobacco with this advertisement where he called it "My steady chew for years."

Clint Hurdle

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    Hurdle broke into the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 1977, and enjoyed a good beginning to his career with a .276 BA, 26 HR, 186 RBI line in limited time over five seasons with the Royals.

    Since then, however, he has gone onto to be a successful manager, and he could be on his way to NL Manager of the Year as he leads the surprise Pirates.

    I'm not sure whether this picture shows him with a wad of tobacco or chewing gum in his mouth from back in his playing days, but he is now legendary for his chewing gum consumption with fans frequently sending him gum through the mail to fuel his habit.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Rodriguez is among the top hitters in baseball history, and although the cloud of performance enhancers will hang over his career, he has put up incredible numbers of .302 BA, 626 HR, 1,883 RBI, 305 SB during his 18-year big league career.

    However, when he hits the field, the only performance enhancer he seems to need is a big mouth full of sunflower seeds, as he always seems to be spitting out the salty shells throughout the course of a game.

Bill Tuttle

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    Tuttle, a center fielder who played 11 seasons between the Tigers, Athletics, and Twins, was never a star during his career but was a solid contributor who received some MVP consideration in 1959 when he hit .300 BA, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 10 SB with the Athletics.

    A quick scan through his baseball cards show the exaggerated level to which he chewed tobacco, but he paid for the habit later in life.'

    In 1993, he was diagnosed with oral cancer and was left with a disfigured face, and he spent the final five seasons of his life spreading awareness about the problems associated with chewing tobacco.

Tim Lincecum

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    Lincecum has been dubbed "The Freak" for a reason, as he is among the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball, leading the NL in strikeouts the past three seasons and winning the NL Cy Young in 2008 and 2009.

    He is also perhaps the most well-known pot smoker in all of baseball, and you can add chewing tobacco to his list of vices, as you can see by the picture.

Pete Vuckovich

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    Vuckovich is among the least known Cy Young winners in baseball history, as he took home the award while pitching for the Brewers in 1982 when he went 18-6, 3.34 ERA, 105 Ks and from 1978-1982 he won 71 games as one of the AL's top starters.

    He may be best known for his portrayal of Clu Haywood, the Yankees slugging first baseman in the movie Major League when he would dig into the box and spit a glob of tobacco juice before taking Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn deep.

Jayson Werth

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    Throughout the 1990s, Lenny Dykstra was known as the face of chewing tobacco, and with seemingly more players chewing today, the new face of chew may be Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.

    Werth, with his grizzly facial hair and gritty style of play, has many of the same characteristics that made Dykstra a fan favorite, and while he has struggled in his first season in Washington after signing a huge contract, the Nationals could soon reap the benefits of adding a player like Werth.

Terry Francona

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    While he was never able to make it as a player, Francona has emerged as one of baseball's top managers, posting a 709-515 record in seven and a half seasons at the helm for the Red Sox. In that time, he has brought two World Series titles to the city and helped break the Curse of the Bambino.

    Not only is he one of baseball's most recognizable managers, but he is also one of the most notorious users of chewing tobacco in all of baseball.

    So while there seems to be more players using chewing tobacco these days, they are not the only ones.

Nellie Fox

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    Fox is a Hall of Fame second baseman who was the heart and soul of the 1950s White Sox. He made 12 All-Star appearances, won the 1959 AL MVP, and went on to hit .288 for his career with 2,663 career hits.

    He was also one of the most memorable dippers of all-time, and as you can see by the picture he tested the limits of just how much tobacco he could fit in his cheek.

    He died in 1975 at just 47 years old when he lost his battle with cancer, brought on by his tobacco use.

Glenn Davis

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    Davis was one of the most feared power hitters of the 1980s, as he slugged at least 20 home runs six different times. In total, he launched 190 long balls during his 10-year big-league career.

    He was also a firm believer in staying on a hot streak by any means necessary, and for him, that meant sticking with the chewing gum that was working.

    When he was hitting well, he would save his gum under the bill of his hat and continue chewing it until the hot streak was over.

    So while he does not make the cut for the ridiculous appearances of his chewing habit, the superstition is more than enough to crack the list.

Babe Ruth

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    Ruth is the greatest player to ever play the game, and while many of his records have fallen, but he is a larger-than-life figure in not only baseball, but in American history.

    Back in the day, chewing tobacco was much more widely advertised, and Ruth was among its highest profile endorsers with the Pinch-Hit brand.

    However, Ruth would later lose his life to throat cancer, due in large part to his tobacco usage, as well as his penchant for boozing.

Lenny Dykstra

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    There have been hundreds of players through the years who used dip, with some reports putting the figure at 33 percent of baseball players, but no one did it like Dykstra.

    Known as "Nails" for his tough style of play, Dykstra became a fan favorite for his gritty personality as he always had a filthy uniform and a ridiculous mouth full of tobacco.

    To this day, he is the face of chewing tobacco in baseball, and pictures like this show you why.


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